Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Best way to sleep after tummy tuck

The best way to sleep after a tummy tuck is to be in a good mood. And the best way to be in a good mood when you’ve just had surgery is to make sure you’re 100% prepared for what’s coming next.

If this whole process has been on your mind for months or even years—maybe even decades—then you’re probably ready for it. You’ve probably started making preparations, like losing weight, getting your house ready for guests and figuring out how much work time you’ll need off from work. But what about the actual surgery? What does it entail?

Well, first off: it’s not as bad as it sounds! Sure, some people will tell you horror stories about their own experiences going under the knife and coming out the other side feeling like they’d been slammed by a truck (and let’s face it—that’s pretty accurate). But there are also plenty of people who say that their surgeries were nothing short of pleasant experiences—and those people tend to have very positive feelings about their recovery process afterward, too.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Best way to sleep after tummy tuck, sitting in chair after tummy tuck. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about when can you lay flat after tummy tuck. Read on to learn more.

Best way to sleep after tummy tuck

An abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, removes excess skin and flattens your abdomen. This can be especially helpful after weight loss or pregnancy. Being prepared for the recovery process can help you heal as quickly as possible and is important to preserve your results. One of the things to consider is how you will sleep after your tummy tuck, since some sleeping positions can be more painful or affect your healing in the first several weeks after your surgery.


After a tummy tuck, you will have an incision across your lower abdomen. This means that you can’t sleep on your stomach during the early stages of the healing process. Doing so will put too much pressure on the incision. This is not only painful. but also dangerous and can compromise your results.

Sleeping on your side may seem better than sleeping on your stomach, but it still pulls on the incisions. There’s also a possibility of rolling onto your stomach during the night.


The best way to sleep after a tummy tuck is to stay on your back. This avoids putting too much pressure on the incision.

To further reduce pressure and promote healing, elevate your upper body so you are slightly bent. One way to do this more easily is to sleep in a recliner if you have one.

To help you get used to sleeping this way, it’s a good idea to start a few weeks before your surgery. Getting enough rest is essential to your healing and it will be easier if you know you can fall asleep in the correct position. This may be especially helpful if you always sleep on your stomach or on your side. However, you may find that sleeping on your back is easier than you expect. During recovery, it is naturally the most comfortable position for many patients.


The timeline for recovering from any plastic surgery is highly individual and will depend on a variety of factors. You should follow the specific instructions your surgeon gives you, and always ask them before you make any changes to your routine.

In general, most patients will need to sleep on their backs and at an elevated angle for four to six weeks after the procedure. In the case of a mini tummy tuck, the timeline is typically shorter and patients may be able to return to their normal sleeping position after one to three weeks.


At Hess & Sandeen, our highly skilled plastic surgeons will give you all the information you need to understand the tummy tuck recovery process. This procedure can correct sagging in the abdominal area and improve your confidence.

To learn more about tummy tuck surgery, contact us today.

Sitting in chair after tummy tuck

Undergoing a tummy tuck can be a daunting decision to make. There is both a financial investment as well as a time investment in the recovery process. Above all else, however, there is concern of the unknown. Many of my own Scottsdale patients wonder:

  • How much discomfort will I be in?
  • How do I sit or sleep?
  • How do I walk when I am supposed to be bent over?
  • What do I do with the binder?
  • How do I go about using the restroom?
  • And many more.

Below is my list of ten best tummy tuck recovery tips that I have learned from my own patients that have been through the process and have come up with great solutions to common hurdles. I encourage anyone who reads this list and has advice of their own to comment below. We are always looking for ideas to provide our patients a better tummy tuck experience.

#10: Walker/cane:

A tummy tuck naturally puts tension on the horizontal closure. Tightening of the abdominal muscles also creates some discomfort when completely upright; therefore staying slightly bent at the waist is more comfortable during the first week and takes pressure of the incision. Doing so, however, may result in some temporary back strain. A walker or a cane may be helpful for some. Although not 100% necessary, it may help take some of the pressure of the back initially.

#9: Spanks:

Compression shorts such a Spanks or Squeem can be worn early after a tummy tuck but a hole needs to be made on the side to let the drain come through. For very curvy women, the abdominal binder may consistently want to ride up no matter how much its pulled down. This is in part because I place my incision very low. In these cases, Spanks or Squeem with a hole cut out on the side for the drain can be very helpful.

#8: Maxi pads/gauze/supplies:

In my practice, I use a “no maintenance” dressing at the completion of the tummy tuck surgery, however, it always helps to have either 4×4 gauze or maxi pads around. Gauze squares are helpful to pad around the drain and sometimes pad between the binder and the pelvic “hip” bones.

#7: Adjusting binder:

The abdominal binder is an integral part of the tummy tuck recovery process. Proper placement and management of the abdominal binder can be challenging since a low tummy tuck incision will result in an abdominal binder that sits partly over the top part of the thighs. This results in the abdominal binder wanting to shift up while sitting. Marking where the binder is in terms of tightness is the first recommendation since undoing it to pull it down will require knowing how tight it should be redone. Lowering and tightening the abdominal binder is best done while in the recliner or in bed.

#6: Managing nausea:

Each tummy tuck patient handles surgery and anesthesia differently. Most of our patients manage not to have any nausea after surgery. This success is due to a combination of good anesthesia and good surgical technique that can reduce narcotic use. Regardless, our patients are always prescribed anti-nausea medications just in case. Small sips of water and crackers in the first few hours may help curb nausea early.

#5: Compression stockings:

Most surgeons will have the patient wear thigh high compression stockings during a tummy tuck to reduce the chance of blood clots. Keeping these on for a few days after the surgery may not be the most comfortable thing in the world but it will keep some of the swelling out of the legs and will continue to reduce the chance of blood clots.

#4: Taking a shower:

When to take a shower after a tummy tuck will depend on the surgeon. For my patients I tell them that you are allowed to take a shower at any time but I recommend holding off for a couple of days until the first follow up. Replacing the binder and knowing what to do with the drain tube, etc can be cumbersome. More importantly the binder is key and the more it’s worn the better. Once showers do start, using a lanyard or a cheap necklace to pin the drain to is one piece of advice I have heard. A bathrobe tie tied around the waste is yet another option.

#3: Pain meds/managing pain:

This is a two-part tummy tuck recovery advice. The first is Exparel during surgery. Exparel is a numbing medication that is injected into the tummy tuck tissues during surgery. It works for about 3-4 days and brings the pain score down about half. The second part is managing your oral pain medication. Percocet seems to work great as does Valium as a muscle relaxer. Keeping the pain score down to about a 3 or less in the first day or two can be accomplished by staying ahead of the pain. Exparel on occasion will do so on its own but everyone is different and oral pain meds should be used schedules (not when the pain gets too high) in the first day or two and then can be tapered off.

#2: Recliner/Sleeping:

Sleeping with waist bent and legs elevated is probably the most helpful and most comfortable position after a tummy tuck. It’s essentially replicating the position that you were in in the operating room while you were being closed back up. A recliner (especially a powered recliner) will be a great place to recuperate the first few weeks after surgery.

#1: Toilet seat booster:

Most toilets are fairly low to the ground, probably so that no matter how short you are you can get on there. We don’t really notice how low toilets really are until some part of our legs, pelvis, or core hurts. After a tummy tuck, squatting low onto a low height toilet will seem a daunting task especially when you have to go every few hours if you’re hydrated enough. A toilet seat booster will be of tremendous value.

Those are the top ten tummy tuck recovery tips. Contact Dr. Repta more information!

When can you lay flat after tummy tuck

Tummy tucks are a safe and proven way to achieve a tighter, slimmer abdomen. By removing excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles, this transformative procedure significantly improves muscle tone and one’s overall figure.

Just like all major surgeries, tummy tucks require a recovery period to allow your body to heal properly. As your surgeon is going to remove a considerable amount of tissue, it’s critical to follow each post-op step to the letter. During this recovery, everyday things like how you stand, sit, and (most importantly) sleep, will all play significant roles in ensuring a safe and speedy recovery. With that said, the vast majority of our patients say that the tummy tuck’s many advantages are well worth these considerations!

We’ve found that many of our patients ask more in-depth questions on sleeping after a tummy tuck, so here are just a few tips to consider as you plan your operation. View our tummy tuck gallery to see before and after photos.

Sleep After Tummy Tuck

Sleep is one of the most critical ingredients for a safe recovery. During this regenerative period, your body needs sleep to repair and complete what your surgeon’s started––a trimmer, natural-looking midsection. It’s not just “how much” you sleep either, but how you sleep also has a profound effect on the quality and rate of recovery.

Sleeping in certain positions can compromise results and heighten your risk of discomfort. There are two recommended ways to sleep post-op. First, consider modifying your bed. By creating a raised section of the bed for your head and torso with pillows, you’ll be able to maintain a slightly bent posture during the night. Many patients choose this option for ease and simplicity, as all you need are a few pillows or a quality foam wedge.

Sleeping on a bed does increase the likelihood that you may change positions at night and inadvertently compromise the optimum healing position, though. Pillows can also move unexpectedly or fall from the bed, which may put your sutures at risk.

The other option is to sleep on a recliner. Recliners provide support and help maintain your body in a bent position. Armrests also inhibit you from turning over in your sleep. If you’re looking to invest in a recliner for recovery, look for a model that can raise both your head and feet, creating a V-shape that’s quite comfortable for sleeping. On the downside, recliners can be expensive and may not be an option for some patients.

When Can I Lay Flat?

At the Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery, every tummy tuck is a one-of-a-kind procedure that’s custom-built to achieve your goals and harmonize with your natural anatomy. As such, every patient’s recovery looks a little bit different. How long you’ll need to sleep with your head elevated depends on the type of tummy tuck you have performed.

“Miniature tummy tucks,” in which the incision doesn’t run hip to hip, usually require between one and three weeks. Full tummy tucks, however, generally take around four weeks, with exercise and strenuous activities limited for six weeks.

If you have any questions about when’s the right time to transition to sleeping flat, be sure to call our office. We’ll provide the clearest advice based on your operation and medical history.

Practice Sleeping on Your Back

Finally, if you typically sleep on your side or front, try practicing sleeping on your back for a few weeks before your tummy tuck. This will help your body adjust gradually to sleeping in a new way, and ensure you get the rest you need post-op. The better rested you are, the quicker you’ll be fully recovered.

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